As we're approaching September 2021, I'm slowly making my way out of maternity leave with one more presh baby life to protect and provide for. The last few months have been A LOT with juggling the new demands in this season and for many moms, I'm sure it's been a lot for you too.
I see you, mama. Tired. Messy bun. Likely some type of baby, toddler, or kid fluid on you. Maybe it's boogers. Who knows? Here's what I do know: You're a mama that has more than one calling and that's a beautiful thing.
Let's get one thing straight. All moms have a calling to mother their babies. It's a spiritual, biological, emotional calling; a messy one. One that requires selflessness and sacrifice. We see an honor all the mamas, but we know that all moms have other demands on their lives too. Maybe I'm feeling a little extra sappy today, but I just want to take a moment to tell a mom that I understand the importance of her work in the lives of her babies and beyond.
Maybe you're a mom who is also a business owner. Or maybe you're a mom who leads in her community through school or church groups. Maybe you are a mom that others depend on for advice, encouragement, etc. All of the above are important. All of the above are hard.
Often times, a mom has multiple callings. I mean, have you read Proverbs 31? That mom is seriously other-worldly. She's so productive that it's not even cool. I mean, the lady is an incredible boss babe, her husband adores her and her kids rise call her blessed. Meanwhile at the Rodriguez home, my 2 and 4 year old kiddos are over here calling me "Rene" 'cause it's what they hear our step-daughters calling me and so it's become this on-going joke in my house now. I know I'm blessed, it's just hard to identify with the Proverbs 31 woman when I'm in the middle of wiping a booty and shushing my kiddos while on a business call, ya know?
This "multiple callings" business gets exhausting. Raising babies is hard enough, but you throw in raising a business too? It seems nearly impossible. How about having a social circle and pouring into others? Where does the time for that magically appear? Oh yeah, and becoming involved in your community, let's just sideline that one for a while. It's so hard to feel divided. I know because I'm living in that season right now. I have many callings and I don't know what goes where. I imagine that many moms are facing the same thing, too. I'm here to tell you I'm with you.
I keep going back to this Proverbs 31 woman because she's seriously #goals. She laughs without fear of the future. Say whaaa? I'm laughing because I can't remember my last name. She gets up early to get ready for her day. Meanwhile, I'm dragging myself out of bed looking like La Llorona after hitting snooze approximately 2.45 times. It's pathetic. She opens her arms to the needy. As much as I long to do that more, I'm just not there in my giving. To be like her feels so far away and through all of that, I have peace that I AM NOT HER.
I am me. I have a unique set of circumstances, as do you mama. Your life is not anyone else's. Your callings are not the callings of others. We shouldn't compare because that only stirs up the inadequacies we already feel and we know are there. Instead, we need to be grateful for our unique situations and seek the wisdom we need to fulfill our own callings. Here's some things that have helped me find peace when I'm feeling divided.
Do one thing at once. "Hi, I'm Laurene and I'm a recovering producta-holic. I hate long walks on the beach because why and I value myself based on the amount of tasks I can complete in one day. I have issues. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. K bye." That is what I would have said a couple years ago. I used to be the multi-taking queen of the century. I now realize that dividing myself to get more done only leads to giving pieces of myself to each thing. I wasn't giving all of me. I was only giving a part of me. That hurts because I wanted to do my best but just wasn't.
Put family first. It's so cliché but it's so true. When my family comes after my work, there is tension in my home. I'm so grateful that I caught onto the pattern of that early on. When I'm in mommy-mode, I try to be with the kids all the way. My heart rests easy knowing I gave my family all of me before my job.
Small efforts make a difference. It's like me to assign a ridiculous expectation to "fulfilling a calling" when really, small things can make a big difference. I assume that making a difference in my community means selling all my belongings and moving across the world to become a missionary in Africa. I'm complicating things, as usual. I can have impact by being a listening ear or checking in on someone who is going through something tough. If I can't give of my time in this season, I can show support financially, with a call or text, and even with a prayer.
Accept the help. People said it takes a village because it does. Community matters. Lean on people. When people offer help, take it. When you see another mama struggling, offer help. This has been pivotal for me as I am traditionally the "I got it" mom. Which is all fine and good, except that I don't got it. To fulfill my calling as a mom, I need support and I'm sure you do too. For starters, I hope this blog encourages you that you're not alone. It's messy for all moms. I promise you that.
All callings can have impact. Not all have to happen at once. Sometimes, some things are more important than others. Do you feel like your family is needing you more right now? Be there. Are they going through changes or transition? Be there. Is your marriage needing more of your heart in this season? Then give extra time and attention and you will see fruit. I promise. Here's the hard one. Does your job require more of you? Is it okay to do that? Here's my answer: Yes, it's okay. Communicate to your support squad that you will need to apply more of yourself in a season. Ask for help and reassure them it's not forever. Just make that clear.
I often feel mom guilt when I'm not giving 100% of my thoughts, actions and feelings to my kids. It's so hard not to. I'm not here to say I have a cure for that, because I don't know if that's possible. I'm simply here to take off my business hat for a minute to tell the moms that I see them, I feel them, I am them.
Who knows? Maybe through this we create a Mariposa Moms group where we make friends with other moms and talk about our struggles and triumphs; a place where we network and hang out and our kids can too. Who's in? Comment below.
On my first day back from maternity leave, sending all the mamas a little extra love today.
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